‘Mixed’ Medley Relay Won By 4 Men, Distance Shortened At Mesa PSS

2018 TYR PRO SWIM SERIES – MESA

The mixed medley relay has been by far the least successful of the tweaks to the Pro Swim Series format. With no prize money, team or individual points on the line, the inaugural SwimSquad relay in Austin struggled to find athletes to fill out four relays. Team Coughlin, in fact, had to poach breaststroker Nic Fink from Team Krayzelburg to fill its butterfly leg, despite results listing Tom Shields in that spot.

Despite the relay being shortened from the advertised 4×100 medley relay swum in Austin to a 4×50 medley relay, the Mesa edition still had issues filling out the 16 competitive slots.

This time around, Team Lezak was for some reason allowed to enter a relay team of four men in the mixed medley relay, winning by three seconds over the field. (We’ve asked USA Swimming for comment on the all-male mixed relay team, but haven’t yet received a response). Lezak has an active roster of 13 competing in Mesa, but that only includes three women: Lia Neal, Mallory Comerford and Cierra Runge. None of the three appeared on the winning relay, which ultimately included flyer Pace Clark (27.50) on backstroke, Josh Prenot (28.15) on breast, Tim Phillips (24.18) on fly and Nathan Adrian (22.21) on free for a final time of 1:42.04.

They beat a traditional two-man, two-woman lineup of Matt Grevers (25.88), Nic Fink (27.76), Kelsi Dahlia (26.41) and Olivia Smoliga (25.04) from Team Krayzelburg (1:45.09), despite Lezak’s team trailing by two full seconds after the first two legs swum by males swimmers on both teams. In fact, the all-male Team Lezak was fourth of four teams at the halfway mark, only taking over the lead with their final two male legs competing against 5 women and 1 man from the other three teams.

Update: USA Swimming says the Lezak relay was “essentially an exhibition” and that the event technically did go to the KrayzelburgSquad, though the entire event is technically an exhibition as-is.

While some of the new changes to the Pro Swim Series format have provided excitement, the mixed medley relays have been mostly a bust in two showings so far. Fans were least excited about the relays in our poll after the Austin stop, leading us to call for big adjustments to the format moving forward.

Shortening the relay to a 4×50 should make it much more appealing to athletes, but it’s clear that wasn’t enough to fill out the lineups in Mesa without points or prize money in the mix. The format only includes one more stop with a mixed medley relay – June 14-17 in Santa Clara – which gives USA Swimming two months to consider any other potential tweaks to the relay event.

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PNW

If you ain’t cheatin you ain’t tryin

Tom

Thanks, I needed a good laugh

Paul

Could the issue of swim squads being left shorthanded be solved with more depth? I’m not sure how far down the national team they have gone, but it would have been more sensible for team Lezak to start asking any two females on the deck if they wanted to swim a mixed medley relay for him. There’s absolutely no way USA swimming should struggle to find 4 mixed medley relay teams at any given PSS

Becky D

For me the novelty has worn thin. Sure, it was fun the first dozen times, but now it’s become another chore.

*sigh*

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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